c. 1615. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Read Note.
Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, called ‘the Younger’ (c. 4 BC – 65 AD), Roman stoic philosopher and statesman, was born in Spain to a noble Roman family. His father, Seneca ‘the Older’ was a philosopher. He began his political career in Rome in 31. In 41, however, he was exiled to Corsica by the Emperor Claudius for adultery with the emperor’s niece Julia. In 49 Claudius, under the influence of his 3rd wife Agrippina the Younger, sister of Julia, returned Seneca to Rome and appointed him the tutor to his step-son, future Emperor Nero. For some period Seneca exercised considerable influence on Nero, but later came out of favor, was accused of treason and condemned to commit suicide, which he did. Seneca is the author of a number of philosophical essays